Dozens Helping to Make Danville a Better Place

Danville, VA - Dozens of people in Danville were up bright and Saturday morning fixing up houses. It was all part of the city's Make Danville Shine campaign.

The campaign is an effort to eliminate blighted areas and spruce up homes during the month of May.

Around 70 homeowners signed up to have their house cleaned-up, fixed-up and painted-up.

City officials hope this effort will remind people about the importance of maintaining property.

"Take time, put on some comfortable clothes, go to work, grab a hammer, grab a paint brush, okay? Grab a chain saw, if you know how to use it," said Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders.

The project is Danville's first effort at a community-wide clean up in a decade.

City officials say they've waited long enough, and this is one way they're tackling blight within city.

"Maintenance is always very important to protecting a housing stock, if you let a housing stock get deteriorated and it starts to rot, then you have a lot more issues," said Inspections Division Director Jerry Rigney.

City officials handed out cleaning and painting supplies to volunteers, and assigned them houses to clean.

A group from First Baptist Church were painting porches, and cleaning windows.

"We can all work toward making our city better. I think that there's a lot of energy around reviving parts of Danville and it's exciting to be a part of that," pastor John Carroll said.

"I think it's really good because if we put an effort out to make Danville look better, more people will come in and it will encourage more businesses to come," said volunteer Rachael Carter.

A group of children decided to clean up their neighborhood park and even went as far as planting some flowers.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for young people just to show Danville that they can take care of their own environment. This is their home, this their playground and we're cleaning up area because we want our kids to be comfortable and safe," Constance Covington, Director of the Neighborhood Youth Center said.

The city is encouraging all citizens to take part in this effort all month long.

During the month of May, Danville Public Works will allow oversized piles of debris on your curb, and will collect them for free.